The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Deubiquitinating Enzyme BPLF1 Reduces EBV Ribonucleotide Reductase Activity

G. L. Bentz, J. S. Pagano, J. Shackelford, S. Ning, C. B. Whitehurst, Y. Langelier, F. Dufour, E. Gershburg
A newly discovered virally encoded deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB) is strictly conserved across the Herpesviridae. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) BPLF1 encodes a tegument protein (3,149 amino acids) that exhibits deubiquitinating (DUB) activity that is lost upon mutation of the active-site cysteine. However, targets for the herpesviral DUBs have remained elusive. To investigate a predicted interaction between EBV BPLF1 and EBV ribonucleotide reductase (RR), a functional clone of the first 246
more » ... first 246 N-terminal amino acids of BPLF1 (BPLF1 1-246) was constructed. Immunoprecipitation verified an interaction between the small subunit of the viral RR2 and BPLF1 proteins. In addition, the large subunit (RR1) of the RR appeared to be ubiquitinated both in vivo and in vitro; however, ubiquitinated forms of the small subunit, RR2, were not detected. Ubiquitination of RR1 requires the expression of both subunits of the RR complex. Furthermore, coexpression of RR1 and RR2 with BPLF1 1-246 abolishes ubiquitination of RR1. EBV RR1, RR2, and BPLF1 1-246 colocalized to the cytoplasm in HEK 293T cells. Finally, expression of enzymatically active BPLF1 1-246 decreased RR activity, whereas a nonfunctional active-site mutant (BPLF1 C61S) had no effect. These results indicate that the EBV deubiquitinating enzyme interacts with, deubiquitinates, and influences the activity of the EBV RR. This is the first verified protein target of the EBV deubiquitinating enzyme.
doi:10.17615/yq4g-5p46 fatcat:uzjp433czjdw7iow26ce3kmbnq